Saturday, July 31, 2010


Pages: 412
Date: 31/07/2010
Grade: 5
Details: no. 9 Lincoln Rhyme

It is scary how good Deaver is at taking something that is part of our every day life, something we take for granted, and turn it into a very scary murder weapon.
In this book it's New York's electrical grid that is being used by someone to kill people and hold the city and a power generation plant hostage.
During the first attack one person dies in a horrible way. But during the search for forensics, Amelia Sachs is almost killed by a booby trap set up by the perpetrator. The second and subsequent attacks kill more people and with every crime scene or location the team investigates there's the risk that something has been wired and the investigators will electrocute themselves.
At the same time Lincoln is in touch with Kathryn Dance and a police official in Mexico, on the trail of the Watchmaker, a murderer that has so far managed to avoid being arrested.
Struggling to manage two cases puts too much pressure on Lincoln and it puts his very fragile health at even more risk. But nothing is going to stop him until both cases are solved and he has the time to consider his own health and welfare.
I really enjoyed this thriller. Although not too many people actually die in this story, it's more scary than most thrillers. When you read about people shooting others it's easy to think that such a thing is unlikely to happen to you. However, electricity is such an important part of our every day life, something we take completely for granted, that it hardly ever occurs to us that it is also a deadly force when handled in the wrong way, or rigged with evil intend.
I loved the way Deaver balanced the personal stories of the main characters with the investigations. All his recurring characters have by this stage really come alive for me, and I enjoy the insights we are given into their actions, thoughts and emotions.
The author is a master at stopping the action at a crucial moment, leaving the reader guessing for a few pages before clarifying what happened and putting the readers mind at ease. Which of course also means that the reader is constantly forced to keep on turning the pages in order to find out what actually did happen.
As far as I'm concerned, Mr, Deaver can't write fast enough to keep me satisfied.

Friday, July 30, 2010


Pages: 202
Date: 30/07/2010
Grade: 5-
Details: Young Adult

I absolutely adored the two adult novels by Zafon when I read them, especially The Shadow of the Wind. So when I heard a new title by him was available I couldn't wait to get my hands on it, even though I was aware that this book was written for a Young Adult audience and several years before The Shadow of the Wind became a success.
Knowing that this was the first book ever published by Zafon, I didn't have my expectations set too high. But, I was happily surprised by this book. No, it's not as mesmerizing as The Shadow was and not as well written either. But, it is a totally engrossing story with the same sort of supernatural darkness that also features in his later books. In fact, this is a fully fledged ghost story. 
When Max and his family move from the city to a coast town in 1943 to avoid the ravages of war he isn't happy about it. As soon as the arrive in their new home town his youngest sister finds and adopts a scary looking cat and behind their new house Max finds a spooky garden filled with statues, except that Max could have sworn that one of the statues moved while he was looking at it.
All of this fades to the background though when Max is befriended by Roland, the grandson of the local lighthouse keeper, who takes him diving to a shipwreck just of the coast.
Their time of innocent fun is short lived though. Max's youngest sister has an accident that leaves her in a coma and with their parents in hospital with the girl he and his older sister Alicia are left to fend for themselves. And it soon becomes apparent that Roland and his grandfather are somehow connected to the spooky statues, the shipwreck and a danger that is lurking where ever they turn. A danger that is looking for repayment of a debt that has been outstanding for a long time.
Not a story without mistakes; there are some (minor) holes in the plot here and there. But it is a story that captured me and didn't let me go until the last page. Be warned though, not every story comes with a happy ending.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Pages: 322
Date: 29/07/2010
Grade: 4.5
Details: no. 8 Rizzoli and Isles 
Published in the US as ICE COLD

Maura Isles is in Wyoming for a medical conference when she accepts an invitation to join a former college friend's party on a skying trip. However, on the way to the Lodge where they're meant to be staying they get lost and end up in a place called Kingdom Come. Everything about Kingdom Come is creepy. The place is deserted although unfinished meals are sitting on the tables and the windows in the 12 houses are open.
Stranded in a place without any means to communicate with the outside world they struggle to find their way back to civilization, which becomes even harder when one of the party incurs a life threatening injury.
The first Jane Rizzoli hears about her missing friend is when a burned out car is found at the bottom of a ravine with four bodies in it. Jane is thought to be one of those bodies.
However, once it becomes clear that Maura didn't die in the car, a race is on to find her. But who can be trusted in Wyoming, what really happened in Kingdom Come and how did Maura's travelling companions end up dead?
Meanwhile, Maura has found an unlikely ally and is surviving under circumstances she would never have considered possible. Circumstances which will make her question her life and the decisions she has made in the past.
This was a thriller more than a mystery, but as a thriller is was a real page turner. It was nice to read about a Maura completely out of her comfort zone and forced to take a new look at herself and her life. The only problem I had was that this book reminded me a bit too much of Blue Heaven by C.J. Box. But I would recommend this book to anyone who is either a fan of Rizzoli and Isles or loves a good thriller.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


"A Novel in Dramatic Form"
Pages: 143
Date: 27/07/2010
Grade: 4+

And now for something completely different.....
Every now and again you read a book, and it's unlike anything you've ever read before. This is one of those occasions.
As the subtitle suggest, this book is written as a play. In fact, I would have called it a play were it not for the fact that the cover of the book states it to be a novel.
But, taking into account the layout and the style, you'd have to say that this resembles a  play more than it does a novel. In between the covers the reader gets a description of the decor and the placements of the two players. The rest is dialogue between "Black" and "White".
From the dialogue we learn that the two men, Black an ex-convict, living in a dilapidated apartment with a strong believe in God and White, a professor from a comfortable background with a strong belief in Nothing, met on a New York subway platform where something traumatic has taken place.
The two men are in a discussion about faith, the meaning of life and whether or not there is any reason to keep on living. Both men want to convince the other of their point of view, but both men appear powerless to do so.
This book reminded me a bit of "Waiting for Godot" by Samuel Beckett. Having said that, in this book it is a lot easier to follow what exactly the characters are talking about. But I did get the same feeling of two men talking at each other rather than to each other. I also ended up with the same feeling of all the talking leading nowhere.
This was a fascinating reading experience. And this is a play I would love to see on stage.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Pages: 385
Date: 26/07/2010
Grade: 4.5
Details: no. 4 The Spellmans

In this fourth Spellmans' book events are still as mad and hectic as ever; some families never learn I suppose.
Isabel, Izzy, Spellman, aged 32 is in the process of taking over the family private investigations business, but it doesn't go smoothly. She has various cases on her hands. First and foremost is the need to take competitor Rick Harkey out of business. Izzy knows he's playing dirty, but has to find proof which isn't easy.
Then there is the case of the suspicious valet of a wealthy customer of the Spellmans. Both Izzy and her younger sister Rae get involved in cases of wrongfully convicted men.
And then of course there's the family issues; House fittings are disappearing from the Spellman home and office. Izzy's mother forces her to have dates with lawyers because she doesn't approve of her current boyfriend. Big brother David and his girlfriend Maggie are hiding something and finally there's the return to San Francisco of Izzy's elderly lawyer friend Morty, which turns out to be not good news. On the upside though, there's Henry Stone who suddenly decides that he does want to have some sort of relationship with Izzy, although Izzy doesn't know how she feels about that at all.
There is a lot going on in this book, but it's not all madness and mayhem. The occasional serious note does creep in and because they are so occasional they can't help but make an impression.
I thoroughly enjoy these clever and well written books. In fact, I think they're getting better as the series moves on and I really hope there will be more Spellman adventures to follow.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Pages: 246
Date: 25/07/2010
Grade: 4+

This is the fictionalized story of the affair between Molly Allgood (Maire O'Neill), a young actress from Dublin's inner city tenements and the older playwright John M. Synge as remembered by Molly years later in 1952 while she walks the streets of London reduced to poverty and shortly before her death.
The story is told in fragments, as memories accost Molly. The love between her and the playwright, the difficulties caused by the differences in age, background and religion between the two of them. She remembers the love, the fights, the frustration she felt at his resistance to commitment.
Other memories take her to success in the theatre in Ireland, America and England. Brief mentions are made of her two marriages, one that ended with the death of her husband, the other in divorce, and of her sister Sarah who would become a successful actress in America.
Now with her career all but ended, poverty the main theme of her life and alcohol her constant but expensive companion, Molly's memories may not be the most trustworthy and her emotions take her from dizzying heights to depressing lows, but the love she shared with Synge is never in question in her heart or in her memories.
This was a very thoughtful book. It is also very literary; a book more about the words than the story I felt on several occasions. But maybe that's the way it should be when you're writing the story of one of the great Irish playwrights. 
The reader should take his/her time with this book because hurrying across the pages will make you miss beautiful descriptions and emotions.
Not my favourite book by O'Connor. That honour still lies with "Star of the Sea", but definitely a book worth reading.
Finally, this is the third and, according to himself in an interview, the last novel by Joseph O'Connor based on real people and events. However, as the author warns the reader in the "Acknowledgements and Caveat", this is not a biography. Liberties have been taken with history in this book. This reader doesn't know enough about the subjects of this story to say whether those liberties are a good thing or not.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Date: 23/07/2010
Grade: 5
Details: no. 1 Joe Pike
            Audio book: 8 Cd's / 8 Hours,   61 minutes
            Narrator: William Roberts

This is the first book by Crais in which Joe Pike rather than Elvis Cole is the main character and if I'm honest I liked this book a bit better then I did the previous ones.
Joe Pike finds himself employed as the bodyguard to a spoilt rich girl. The girl, Larkin Conner Barkley, has been involved in a car crash at which she's seen a wanted mob boss. The FBI want the mobster and the mob wants the only witness, Larkin, out of the way. Within a day of starting this job, Pike finds himself and the girl under attack twice. Not only is someone desperate to kill the girl, they are also being told where to find Joe and the girl.
In order to keep the girl safe, Pike decides to go off the radar. He relocates the two of them to a location he doesn't share with anyone and starts looking for the men who are trying to kill them. After all, the best form of defense is to attack.
With the help of Elvis Cole, Pike slowly discovers several disturbing facts. It seems that everybody, including the FBI has been lying to him.
While he and the girl start to develop an unlikely bond, Pike has to go to extraordinary lengths to get to the truth, find the men who threaten the girl and safe her life.
Like I said, I prefer this book over the ones featuring Elvis Cole as the main character. Cole can be a bit too much of a smart arse for me on occasion, whereas Pike is a very straight forward yet deep character. 
It was great to get a better insight into Pike's background and the reasons for him being who he is, and I'm looking forward to getting to know him even better in the near future.



Yesterday evening, Thursday July 22nd, Tara and me had the pleasure of attending an author event featuring Eoin Colfer in Eason Bookshop in O'Connell Street, Dublin.
Eoin Colfer of course, is the author of, amongst other titles, the Artemis Fowl books and this evening took place on the occasion of the release of the 7th title in the series; Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex.
The evening started off at 6.30 by which time the place was absolutely packed with people and we were down to standing room only. But, any sore feet that might have resulted in were soon forgotten because Eoin Colfer turned out to be an entertaining and very funny speaker. Initially the idea had apparently been that he would talk for a while and then do a reading from his new book, but he decided to skip the reading since there were, in his opinion, to many little kids in the audience. I can't speak for anyone else, but I didn't miss the reading. The stories Mr. Colfer entertained us with had me captivated and laughing out loud, and I was not alone.
He told us that this series was born when he decided to mix some elements from a short story he had written with a devilish character based on his younger brother Donal. Many stories about Donal and his antics followed as did stories about Eoin Colfer's own sons. Especially his acting out of his teenage son's stance and lack of words when upset with his father had the audience in stitches. 
After the talk the audience was given the opportunity to ask questions which were all answered and occasionally illustrated with other funny stories. All of this was done in an unrushed fashion with the author going out of his way to make sure that anybody with a question got a chance to ask it.

Finally it was time for the book signing and once again Eoin Colfer took his time with everyone who came up to his table. We decided to just sit for a while and wait for most of the line to disappear and by the time Tara got up to the table with her books and posters more than two hours had passed since the start of the event. But, the author was still in great humour and took his time to sign everyone of the five (or was is six?) books she brought up as well as the two posters she had managed to get her hands on. He also chatted with her about the Dr. Who Sonic Screwdriver she had bought earlier that day and had in her hands when she went up to meet him. I think Tara was more impressed with this then she was with anything else that evening.

This was a wonderful evening and my compliments go to Eoin Colfer for being such a generous and funny person and to Eason Bookshop for doing a great job in organizing such an entertaining event.
And just in case this blog wasn't positive enough, let me spell it out for you; If you get the chance to see and hear Eoin Colfer anywhere, go and do so. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Pages: 766
Date: 21/07/2010
Grade: 5-

What do I write about this book?
It is an apocalyptic thriller, a vampire story but not of the sexy variety, and it is a terrific read.
It is also a horrific book because it's all to easy to imagine humanity coming to an end through men messing with nature.
The story is almost impossible to summarize, so I'll just share some of the details. Anyone wanting to know more will just have to read the book.

It all starts innocently enough with a doctor wanting to find something to make people live longer after his wife dies from cancer. Once it looks like he might have found it, the US military gets involved and from that point onwards you just know it can never end well. And it doesn't; the first part of the book ends with 12 virological vampires being released upon the world, killing and creating more vampires as they go along.
The second part of the book, set about 100 years later, takes us to a colony in California where a small group of humans have managed to stay alive and create an existence for themselves. But their means of survival are about to stop working and a small group of humans set out into a world filled with vampires to find a way to safe their colony.
The quest these people go on constitutes the third part of this novel, with our heroes forging their way ahead against all the odds.
Amy is the young girl who provides the link between all the parts of the book. Neither vampire nor completely human she is six when the events kick off and looks only about 15 when she finds her way to the colony about 100 years later. She is also the only hope the colony and the rest of humanity have.
This book had me captivated from the first page and stayed in my thoughts even when I wasn't reading. The only negative thing I can say about it is that on several occasions the author implies some understanding between characters without explaining what that understanding is.
Initially I was also upset about the way the book seemed to end more or less mid-story. However, I since discovered that this is apparently the first book in a trilogy so I guess I'll just have to wait before I'll be able to find out how it all ends. Hopefully I won't have to wait too long.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Pages: 359
Date: 15/07/2010
Grade: 4
Details: no. 8 Sookie Stackhouse

After all the mayhem in the last book, All Together Dead, you'd think our heroine deserves a bit of peace and quiet. But of course, that's not what Sookie gets.
still dazed from the explosion and it's aftermath, trying to come to terms with all the deaths, and Quinn, her boyfriend, missing, Sookie is pleasantly surprised to be introduced to a relative she never knew she had and who isn't quite what you might expect. But her happiness is short lived when she narrowly escapes an attempt on her life while on her way home.
Next thing she knows, Sookie is up to her pretty neck in a war between weres. And it only just behind her when the vampires involve her in a similar and equally brutal conflict.
Throw in Eric recovering his memories of the time he spend in her house, her brother's marital problems, another betrayal by someone close to her and old problems resurfacing and it's a miracle Sookie finds time for her job as a waitress at all.
I think I've said it before, but this series provides a thrill a minute. This is pure mind candy, a fast and easy read. However, Charlaine Harris does throw in enough development of Sookie's character to keep the character interesting. And through all the supernatural madness Sookies emotions and reactions are recognizable enough to make it possible for me to relate to what's happening. 
In short, I enjoy these books.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Pages: 396
Date: 14/07/2010
Grade: 4.5

It is hard to categorize this book. Yes, it is a murder mystery with a lot of horrific murders. It is also a spine chilling thriller in which the reader is constantly waiting for the next violent act or shock. However, this is a literary novel too, slow moving, descriptive and wordy.
This is the first book I've read by Ellory so I don't know if all his work is literary like this one or if this book is so literary because the main character is an author. What I do know is that this book hooked me from the first page, chilled me to the bone and compelled me to keep on turning the pages, although there were points in the story where I wished the author would just move on with the story and stop reflecting.
This is the story of Joseph Vaughan who is only eleven when his father dies and he's left behind with his mother in rural Georgia.
Only a year later a young local girl is found murdered and the killer is not found. Nine months later a second girl is found and those two girls are only the start. And with every subsequent girl, the murders get more horrific.
Joseph and his friends form a group, The Guardians, hoping to prevent further slaughter, but they're kids up against an unknown, dangerous adult and more girls die, leaving Joseph with a deep sense of guilt.
By the time Joseph is 21 the combination of the murders and personal tragedy force him to leave Georgia for New York where he starts a new life.
But a past like Joseph has can't be left behind. In fact the past follows him to New York leading him into a nightmare he could never have imagined.

"So let the past be what it was, the present what it is, the future the best it can be."

Monday, July 12, 2010


Pages: 558
Date: 12/07/2010
Grade: 5-
Details: no. 8 Jack Reacher

This book takes us back to the first two weeks of 1990, a time when Reacher is still in the army and the world is undergoing major changes.
Reacher has just been transferred to an army base in North Carolina when he's called out to a sleazy motel where an army general has been found dead. The death is not suspicious since the general died of a heart attack. But when Reacher goes to the general's home to deliver the bad news, he finds the man's wife murdered. Shortly afterwards a soldier is murdered on Reachers army base and although the three deaths appear to be unconnected they have one thing in common; Reacher is ordered to not investigate them.
Reacher wouldn't be Reacher if he followed that order, but the path he chooses to follow will lead him to face conspiracies and army politics and could end up costing him his army career.
There were a few issues with this book. The men involved in the conspiracy were never in doubt for me, even if I didn't pick up on all the nuances. And I didn't really like one violent act at the end of the book.
On the other hand, I love Reacher as a character, and enjoyed getting a bit of an insight into his history and (personal) background. Most of all, I love the way Child writes an intriguing story that keeps me turning the pages.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Date: 11/07/2010
Grade: 4.5
Details: no. 10 Elvis Cole
            Audio: 8 Cd's/8 hours, 58 minutes
            Narrator: William Roberts

It has been six months since Elvis Cole solved the kidnapping of his girlfriend's son, and six months since the boy and his mother left Los Angeles and the dangers Cole's life brings. Cole is slowly getting his life back together when he's called out to a crime scene by the LAPD. 
Cole has never seen the murdered man before, but the man had lots of news clippings about Cole on him and claimed to be looking for his son, Elvis Cole, just before he died.
Cole has spend his life wondering about who his father might have been and can't help needing to find out if the dying man's claims were true. But, as he investigates, Cole discovers that nothing about the man is what it appeared to be at first. Even the murder itself holds a few surprises.
By the time Cole figures the whole sorry saga out it may well be too late to safe himself.
As always, this was an action packed story, with Cole's background story providing just the right amount of human interest in the middle of all the action. 
William Roberts, the narrator is good and makes Cole sound the way I imagined he would.
The only thing in this book I wasn't crazy about were the sections told by Frederick; they made the mystery less mysterious in my opinion. Other than that, I enjoyed the thrilling ride this (audio) book provided.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Date: 10/07/2010
Grade: 4
Details: no. 7 Sookie Stackhouse

It is really more of the same with the books in this series, but the same is fun, exciting, at times sexy and easy to read. There is nothing wrong with more of the same as long as you're enjoying and the story is original enough to keep you wondering.
In this story Sookie has been hired by the vampire queen of Louisiana to travel with her party to a vampire conference where the queen is to stand trial, accused of murdering her husband, the king of Arkansas. Also on the queen's party are Bill, who Sookie is trying to ignore after his betrayal of her and Eric, who she can't quite get out of her system, a situation that's set to get worse.
Her new lover, Quinn a Were, will also be at he conference so Sookie will have a tricky time on a personal level. 
However, her personal issues are the least of her worries during the conference once vampires start getting murdered and bombs appear in the hotel.
Sookie has to figure out what's going on, who is behind it all and who she can trust before everybody turns up dead. And even if she does manage to survive, will Sookie ever be the same again?
I'm enjoying this series. The violence never gets too graphic, and Sookie's personal problems make perfect sense, even if the objects of her confusion happen to be anything other than human. Harris manages to write about a wide diversity of creatures without ever losing side of the human side of her protagonist.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Pages: 312
Date: 08/07/2010
Grade: 5
Details: no.1 Chief Inspector Armand Gamache

Completely out of order, sine I've already read the next three books in this series, I at last managed to get my hands on and read the book introducing Armand Gamache, his team and the village of Three Pines.
Inspector Gamache is send to Three Pines, a small rural village south of Montreal, when Jane Neal, a local spinster, is found dead, killed by an arrow during hunting season.
The locals all assume they're dealing with a tragic accident, but the fact that nobody claims responsibility combined with other, more intuitive doubts, make Gamache think something more sinister is going on. And before long the apparently peaceful village has provided several viable suspects, leading to a final showdown that is far from peaceful.
I really love this series. With Three Pines, Louise Penny has created a lovely and very real village and community. Her characters come to life on the page, with both their good and their not so nice sides, their quirks and their charms.
The mystery is well plotted, the detection realistic and the motives plausible. I would be hard pressed to say anything negative about this book. The only minor down point was that I already knew what was to follow in he next books, but that's my fault and has nothing to do with the quality of this brilliant mystery.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Pages: 489
Date: 06/07/2010
Grade: 4.5
Details: no. 2 Charlie "Birdman" Parker

This book, like the previous one, is hard to describe since there is so very much happening; initially appearing unconnected acts of violence that somehow all make sense by he end of the book. And there are a lot of players as well, most of them violent or in danger of violence in one way or another.
Charlie "Bird" Parker is nearing the first anniversary of the brutal murder of his wife and young daughter and trying to rebuild his life by moving into and renovating the house he inherited from his grandfather. A favour he does for a local young woman draws him into a spiral of ever increasing violence, starting with the death of the woman and her young son.
As he sets out to find the woman's ex-husband he finds himself facing mob opposition as well as an evil force that has been around for 30 years and is looking to finish what was started in a past that belonged to and involved Bird's grandfather.
With law-enforcement, the mob, the old evil and Bird all looking for the same man an explosion of violence is unavoidable. And Bird, assisted by the loyal Louis and Angel, finds himself smack in the middle of it.
Another dark and violent story, but I find myself growing fond of Bird, his ghosts and his attempts to find redemption. 
Angel and Louis are a fabulous couple, always bickering but extremely loyal to each other and to Bird.
The decision has been made; I will continue with this series.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Pages: 279
Date: 04/07/2010
Grade: 4.5
Details: Sequel to "Lucky Man" / NF

In "Lucky Man", Michael J. Fox described his life up to a few years after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, the initial denial of that diagnosis and the struggle to accept it and deal with the consequences.
"Always Looking Up" starts at the moment Fox decides to quit Spin City and has to figure out what to do with his life from then on.
We read about him setting up a foundation for Parkinson's research and his meetings with people like Christopher Reeve and Lance Armstrong. The book tells of his frustration when the Bush administration blocks stem cell research time and again and Fox's emergence into politics and campaigning as a result.
However, it's not just a story about illness and political activism. Among other things we learn more about his beliefs and his family too.
This felt like a very personal and honest life story. Yet at no time did I feel that I was shown too much of his life or his struggles. Fox shares experiences and feelings without embarrassing the reader or making us feel sorry for him.
In fact, the overwhelming emotion this book left me with was one of admiration. Michael J. Fox is a man I would love to know.

"You suffer the blow, but you capitalize on the opportunity left open in its wake."

Friday, July 2, 2010


Pages: 516
Date: 02/07/2010
Grade: 4+
Details: no. 1 Charlie Parker

Charlie "Birdman" Parker was a NYPD detective and busy getting very drunk in a bar on the night his wife and young daughter were brutally killed and mutilated.
Months later he is sober and working as a private investigator when he is hired to find a young woman who has gone missing. A disappearance that is connected to the murders of children that go back 30 years. As soon as he's solved this case he is contacted by "the travelling man", the killer of his family. He is also contacted by a woman in Louisiana who has visions of a murdered girl, buried somewhere in the swamp.
In Louisiana he follows a trail of death and destruction that will ultimately lead him to the man who ruined his life, but at what cost?
This is a good thriller with memorable and well rounded characters. The descriptions of locations, thoughts and emotions are very visual and realistic. 
I loved Charlie's two friends, Louis and Angel; dodgy and dangerous characters both they are very loyal to Charlie and great to read about.
However, even for a seasoned thriller reader with a strong stomach like me, this story went just a bit too far at times, which is why the book scored a 4 rather than a 5.
Having said that, I already have the next book in the series at home and intend to read it very soon. I just need something lighter and completely different first.